I find a strange amount of joy in things being ‘proper’. There’s a proper way for the day to get started in the morning which has to start with a nice cup of tea in bed. From there, a day will sadly diverge if it’s a weekday but a proper weekend has at least one day where there’s a slow and leisurely move to the sofa with a blanket and my knitting. There’s entertainment I would consider proper for such a morning, namely children’s animated TV shows or movies. It’s wildly improper to consider moving before lunch time.
When I think back to 2019, those mornings stand out to me as simple, happy hours which are the bedrock of mental health. I can appreciate how lucky I am to have those. I’m not a mother nor do I have to work changing shift patterns which adds uncertainty or unsociable working hours. That’s not to say that every weekend is free for these long relaxed breaks. As part of my work, I need to study for exams. From mid-September right through to Christmas, it has been my whole life. Goodbye, happy mornings.
Lets not even talk about the effect on my knitting. It’s too brutal. But when exams had finally been sat, I had my chance. I would finish something off that I had started in 2019 and it would be a success.
The obvious choice was the Vivid Blanket. I had started this after buying the first skeins of yarn for it on Orkney in January 2019. I wanted a project that was large as I suddenly came to terms with what I had agreed to do when I decided to study and work at the same time. Each block was manageable despite the amount of work required to make a whole blanket. It came with me to the Western Isles, and then all around Scotland as I traveled for work.
To my surprise, the knitting went swiftly. By around April, what was left was to block each square and join them together. I started blocking them one by one, and quickly got disheartened. With warm weather, and other projects which actually involved knitting, my blanket was left in a box in the corner of my room.
We moved flats, the exams started back up again and suddenly it was December. In looking back at some squares, I realised I want to re-knit a few squares to free up a bit of yarn for joining the squares instead of needing to buy whole new skeins. This time, with days off from work and new found momentum, the blanket came together.
I’m going to be honest here, some ends are still being woven in. I’ve made a pact with myself that each time I curl up under it I weave in an end. Each square only has two ends but when there are over 80 squares that still rather a lot. I’m willing to take the time for it to be perfect so I’m not in a rush.
Last January I was thinking about the fact that ‘where things aren’t perfect, you have to start from somewhere to make it better’ and the Vivid Blanket was an important part of that for me. A year later, I’m not sure I’m ready for a new focus. I don’t think I need a ‘new year, new me’ because I’m still working on that same idea of working towards something better. The blanket might be complete, but my search to find my proper ways to do things isn’t yet there.
Of course, I’ve got new projects to start and continuing ones to work on which range from knitting to some more adventurous crafting. However, same as last year, I think it’s proper for that to wait until the end of January when we’ve had a measure of what 2020 will bring.